My post is late this week because I allowed my busy schedule to get the best of me. Coincidentally, a couple of clients and prospective clients also mentioned the difficulty of creating and sticking to a schedule this week. We all know how challenging maintaining a schedule can be, especially for single parents, people working multiple jobs, or going to school in the evenings. However, for these people especially, finding a schedule that works is essential. Creating and maintaining a workable schedule can keep you on track to achieve your goals, while allowing you to build in time for relaxation and recreation. Here are some resources and tips I’ve found helpful.
First, it’s important to set priorities. Scheduling is easier when you know what’s most important; you can make time for that first. Here is a great resource for setting priorities and using time effectively: Challenges and Choices: Time Effectiveness — Prioritizing Your Time
After you’ve made time for what’s important, work in the rest where you can. Think about what is most likely to succeed based on your own tendencies: are you a morning person or a night owl? As a morning person, I find that doing activities I tend to skip, like exercise, first thing in the morning, helps to keep me on track. I don’t schedule much of anything after about 8pm, because I’m not very productive in the evening. On the other hand, the struggle to get my son ready for school in the morning became much easier when I started working from home and he could sleep in a little longer. It’s amazing what a difference a half hour can make.
Are you a procrastinator? Finding a way to focus on your goals can help keep you on task. I like Joe’s Goals, a free online “habit tracker” created by a “regular Joe” (sorry) who thought of a great way to hold himself accountable. You create an account, add your goals, and then keep score of how you did over the week. You can also journal about your activities.
Of course, there will be times when you want to be free of a schedule and just slack off for a day. (See last week’s post.) The beauty of a schedule is that it helps you to get tasks accomplished so you DO have down time. When all else fails, read this Grand Pep Talk to keep you motivated to stick to your schedule and Just Do It.
How do you stick to a schedule? Share what works for you in the comments!